Who We Are
Courage Campaign fights for a more progressive California and country.
Powered by 1.4 million members, our proven strategy combines digital tools with grassroots community organizing and powerful messaging. We focus on three priorities:
1. Economic Justice
2. Human Rights
3. Corporate and Political Accountability
We work in California -- the largest and most diverse state -- to create models for the country. We are not bound by election cycles. We are a permanent, independent, multi-issue campaign -- winning progressive change today, and building power for the future.
Nearly 75% of our funding comes from thousands of online donors (the average donation is $17). We are also funded by a growing base of major donors, partner organizations, and the support of foundations.
We pride ourselves on working with a broad array of partner organizations to break down silos and build progressive power across issues, organizations, and communities. Our California Progressive Convenings network includes more than 300 organizations. Courage Campaign is also a proud state partner of the ProgressNow network.
Courage Campaign Staff
Eddie Kurtz, President and Executive Director: A theatre director in a previous life, Eddie served as Political Director -- leading Courage Campaign's campaign work -- prior to his promotion to Executive Director. He managed our campaign to pass California's Homeowner Bill of Rights in 2012 and the Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement (LIFE) Act in 2013. He also directed online operations for the Millionaires Tax of 2012, the precursor to the historic Proposition 30. Prior to his time at Courage, Eddie served as Communications Associate at Brave New Films and worked to elect Congressman Jerry McNerney and President Obama. Originally from Kansas City, Eddie is a proud graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, as well as Washington University in St. Louis and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Emma Crossen, Deputy Director: Emma moved to CA in 2014 and was thrilled to join Courage two months later. In Chicago, she led the national fundraising program for Women of the ELCA. Emma brings experience in consumer education, ministry, environmental advocacy, anti-hunger organizing with Bread for the World, interfaith education and conflict resolution in India, and refugee resettlement in Atlanta. She earned a M.Div. at Harvard Divinity School and was executive director of The Outdoor Church in Cambridge, MA. Raised in Terre Haute, IN, she is a proud graduate of Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. Emma is excited about how the work of Courage will help progressives around the country to bring change in their states. She's also excited about walking, architecture, design, local history, and food, and is often found seeking out all the above.
Susannah Hook-Rodgers, Chief of Campaign Staff & Strategy: Susannah joined Courage Campaign after almost a decade building and leading teams at the forefront of technology and organizing. She spent three years at the Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL) as Deputy Director of the CEL Climate Lab and Chief of Staff. Before joining CEL, Susannah cut her teeth for five years at MoveOn.org, first as Deputy Director of MoveOn’s first in-house field organizing program and then pivoting to a more online-centric role as Campaign Director where she led MoveOn's work on marriage equality and gun control, among other issues. She also spent time in Australia working with MoveOn's sister organization, GetUp, to build and execute a successful election season field program. Susannah is incredibly excited to shift her focus to her chosen home-state of California, and organizing to pass policies and build a political culture that can provide a model for the rest of the country. She earned an MPPA from Northwestern University and a BA from Vassar College, and is 100% sure that Dog-Cats are a thing, and that she has two of them.
Tim Molina, Organizing Director: Tim came to Courage Campaign after working at Brave New Films as their Outreach Director. While at Brave New Films, Tim directed national campaigns around BNF's full-length documentaries and short videos, working on issues ranging from mass incarceration, workers rights, immigration, and U.S. wars. Prior to joining BNF, Tim worked with MoveOn.org as a National Field Organizer, where he oversaw over 1 million MoveOn members in CA, HI, and AK. Before working with MoveOn, Tim started his organizing career as a Labor Organizer with SEIU Local 1021 based out of San Francisco. Originally from Los Angeles, Tim is glad to be back to the, actually always sunny, Big Orange.
Caitlin Alesio Maloney, Director of Campaign Operations & Technology: Caitlin originally joined the Courage Campaign team from 2008-2014 and served as a Field Organizer, EqualityHub Manager, and Data Director. After a stint as Deputy Technology Director for ProgressNow, she is back in the fold as a Director of Campaign Operations & Technology. Previously, Caitlin worked as a Campus Campaign Manager for No on Prop 8, and for Libraries for the Future, a national non-profit supporting innovation and investment in America's public libraries. Raised in New Hampshire, she now lives in Los Angeles, CA with her wife and son (and her little dog, too). When not attached to her computer, you can find Caitlin cooking, gardening or hanging out with honeybees.
William Winters, Director of Online Campaigns: William Winters is a veteran digital campaigner who is proud to join the Courage Campaign team as a Campaign Manager. Prior to his role at Courage Campaign, William worked at ColorOfChange, Change.org, Presente.org, and Citizen Engagement Lab. William is a native of Louisiana and currently lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and their stupid cat.
Kelsey Murphy, Campaigner / Data Analyst: Kelsey is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. She graduated on the Dean’s list with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a minor in English. Before working with Courage Campaign she was the Student Programs Manager at The American Pavilion, helping over 200 students navigate their way through the Cannes Film Festival. Prior to that, she was a Production Assistant at Brave New Films and worked tirelessly for the War Costs campaign and their documentary Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars. She is proud to be working towards building a more progressive tomorrow with Courage Campaign.
Raquel Parra, Campaign Associate: Raquel first became politically active as a teenager attending Prop 8 protests in Los Angeles. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, they continued their activism as a member of Berkeley’s International Socialist Organization chapter, while finding community in LGBTQ+ organizations. With bachelor’s' degrees in Art History and Anthropology they helped found the zine of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Student Committee, and worked with rare materials in Bancroft Library. They're excited to return to their organizing roots as part of the Courage Campaign team.
Brenna Miller, Campaign Associate: Brenna earned bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Sociology & Anthropology from Messiah College in Pennsylvania, where she grew up. Soon after moving to California in 2016, she began work at Courage Campaign and brings experience with International Justice Mission and a homelessness services referral agency in Virginia Beach, VA. Brenna is currently in a graduate program in International Relations at Troy University. Outside of work, you'll most likely find her reading, religiously watching The Office, accidentally killing her plants, or adventuring around the world with her pretty cool husband.
Mary Lizardi, Organizer: Mary is a queer Chicana daughter of immigrants and uses her intersecting identities to inform her work. Prior to Courage Campaign, Mary worked at her alma mater, University of California, Riverside, at the Chicano Student Programs resource center. As Program Coordinator, she planned annual events and programs through a Chicano lens to advocate for first-generation college students and empower Chicano/Latino identified folx to pursue higher education. Prior to UC Riverside, Mary helped turn Nevada blue with the Nevada State Democratic Party in Las Vegas during the 2016 presidential election. Mary is excited to join Courage Campaign’s organizing efforts and directly empower her communities.
Mahdi Manji, Organizer: Mahdi joined Courage Campaign after leading State Senator Anthony Portantino’s Pasadena field operation, which concluded with a fifteen point victory. During the 2016 presidential primary, he worked as a Field Organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign. While attending UCLA, he served as the External Vice President for the UCLA Bruin Democrats and worked on Al Muratsuchi’s 2014 campaign. Prior to transferring to UCLA, Mahdi attended Cerritos College where he served as the Student Government Commissioner of External Affairs working with students to increase transfers and community college completion rates. Originally from Downey, Mahdi now lives in Fullerton. In his free time, Mahdi enjoys hiking, biking, and chilling at the beach.
Lindsay West, Operations Manager: Prior to joining Courage Campaign, Lindsay worked in integrated marketing and events in the entertainment industry. Lindsay’s activism started with harm reduction programs in high school. He earned a BA in Film and Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz, and has volunteered for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Molly Watson, Development Associate: Molly joined Courage Campaign in 2017 when she returned home to California with her husband and toddler after seven years in Brooklyn, NY. While in New York, Molly worked as an Advocate and Academic Coordinator for underserved youth at Harlem Children’s Zone. Most recently, she spent three years fundraising for a safety net hospital in downtown Brooklyn, and dabbles in health care research. Molly earned a BA in Afro-Ethnic Studies from CSU Fullerton and studied Urban Affairs at CUNY Hunter in Manhattan, NY. Molly’s favorite things include her family and tanning in the California sun.
Scottie Thomaston, Lead Writer: Scottie is an activist and writer based in south Alabama. In addition to being a Contributor at Courage Campaign Institute's EqualityOnTrial.com, he has been a longtime contributor to DailyKos, Fire Dog Lake, Critical Mass Progress, and The Huffington Post's 'Gay Voices.' As a lifelong activist, he has worked to help to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy" and to end proposed statewide amendments and legislation such as the recently withdrawn anti-transgender bill proposed in Tennessee's General Assembly. He's written on topics ranging from LGBT rights to disability rights and criminal justice.
Boards of Directors
Jamie McGurk - Chair
Courage Campaign Institute
Lindsay Gardner - Chair
Rick Jacobs - Emeritus Chair
Work with Courage
We're also always looking for talented people to join our team! See current openings here.
Courage Campaign Structure and Status
The Courage Campaign family of organizations is devoted to fighting for a more progressive California and country.
Courage Campaign is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. This designation allows Courage Campaign to advocate for legislation and influence the decisions of our elected leaders. It also means that contributions to Courage Campaign are NOT tax deductible.
Courage Campaign Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the educational arm of the Courage Campaign family of organizations. Its mission is to defend and extend economic justice, human rights, and corporate and political accountability through public education, strategic research, and innovative leadership-development training. Contributions to Courage Campaign Institute are TAX DEDUCTIBLE within IRS guidelines.
Courage Campaign Issues Committee is ballot committee active on statewide and local ballot campaigns and is registered with the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Contact Courage Campaign
Our staff work virtually from their homes across California, but our mailing address is:
7119 West Sunset Boulevard, No. 195
Los Angeles, California 90046